and the year 2002, were issued today by the ODPM.
Industrial Action by Fire Brigades
Ten days in November 2002 were affected by strike action. Data was
collected by the MOD during this period but, apart from fatalities,
was not of sufficient quality for use in compiling fire statistics
for the fourth quarter of 2002. Consequently, estimates have been
made for that ten-day period.
First estimates show that the UK fire and rescue service attended
just under one million fires and false fire alarms during 2002 - 3%
fewer than in 2001. The total number of fires attended decreased by
5% to 517,700. Within this total, the number of 'primary' fires
(fires involving property, vehicles and/or casualties) fell by 4% to
218,900 and there was a 5% fall to 286,700 in the number of
'secondary' fires (mainly outdoor fires such as refuse and
grassland). There were 64,600 fires in the home, a fall of 6%
compared with 2001.
Deaths and Injuries
There was a 6% decrease in the estimated number of fire deaths from
613 to 578 in 2002. This compares with 613 recorded in 2000, 623 in
1999 and 656 in 1998. Within this category there was a fall in the
estimated number of deaths from accidental dwelling fires, down to
364 from the previous year's estimate of 435. Injuries resulting from
fires fell by 6% to 16,400, the lowest figure recorded since the
revised fire statistics collection was introduced in 1994.
The number of false fire alarms decreased by 1% to 477,100. Within
this category the number of false alarms due to apparatus fell
slightly to 279,200 whilst malicious false alarms fell by 10% to
1. The figures in the quarterly 'Fire Statistics Monitor' publication
are compiled from reports submitted to the ODPM on fires attended by local authority fire brigades.
2. Detailed information is collected on all fires in buildings,
vehicles and outdoor structures and any fires involving casualties or
rescues (ie'primary' fires). Less detailed aggregated information
is collected on 'secondary' and chimney fires; so subsequent analysis
of them is limited.
3. 'Primary' fires include all fires in buildings, vehicles and
outdoor structures or any fire involving casualties, rescues, or
fires attended by five or more appliances. 'Secondary' fires are the
majority of outdoor fires including grassland and refuse fires unless
they involve casualties or rescues, property loss or five or more
appliances attend. They include fires in single derelict buildings.
Chimney fires are any fires in occupied buildings where the fire was
confined within the chimney structure (and did not involve casualties
or rescues or attendance by five or more appliances).
4. A person whose death is attributed to a fire is counted as a
fatality even if death occurred weeks or months later. However, it is
not always the case that fire was the cause of death. The figures for
fatalities are thus subject torevision, as information supplied by
fire brigades needs to be cross-checked against the cause of death
that appears on the death certificate. The main area of uncertainty
is whether fire was the cause of death in road accident fatalities.
The 2001 and 2002 figures in the Monitor have been adjusted, based on
previous experience, to anticipate the outcome of the revision
process outlined above.
5. Fire Statistics are part of the National Statistics series which
are produced to high professional standards, as set out in the
National Statistics Code of Practice. For more information on
National Statistics see www.statistics.gov.uk
6. Copies of 'Fire Statistics Monitor, UK, 2002' and other fire
statistical publications can be downloaded via the ODPM website.